Preparations for Inclement Weather
Pay attention to weather forecasts during storm seasons. It makes no sense to fill up your fridge and freezer if you know t that in two days you are expecting a hurricane. Save yourself some money and stick to non perishable items if you know bad weather is coming in.
Power can go out at any time in any place. Power lines can be covered in ice, knocked over by wind, or snap from storms. Power stations themselves can even fall victim to the weather. That being said there are some things that you should have on hand in case of power outages.
Flashlights with extra batteries are always good to have on hand. A lot of people like to light candles or start fires during power outages. There is nothing wrong with that, just make sure that you are around to monitor the flame. You will have more problems on your plate if your house burns down or a fire starts.
The fridge and freeze will start to warm up during the summer months. Try to open these doors only if you absolutely have to. If you are lucky enough to lose power in the winter you can store your perishable item outside if the high of the day is lower than 40.
No power means no internet. For some reason this really surprises some people. On that note I recommend turning off cell phones for a few hours every so often. You don't know when you are going to need your phone and you don't want the battery going dead because all of your friends send this message: did you lose power too?!
If I just lose power from a summer storm I take the opportunity to enjoy some wine and ice cream and watch the show that mother nature puts on. After all, the wine and ice cream would just go bad in the fridge anyway, right?
It is important to maintain normal body temperature. If you get too hot proteins in your body will start to denature, and this is not good. If your core body temperature gets too hot your body will shut down, you could suffer brain damage, and in an absolute worst-case scenario you could die. Cold temperatures are just as dangerous. If the odd isn't warm enough it will start to shut down and metabolic processes cannot occur.
In the winter make sure that you have blankets on hand. Layering clothing is also a very good idea. In summer wear light clothing and try to stay indoors. No matter what situation you find yourself in make sure that you stay hydrated.
Emergency Supply Kits
I strongly believe in having an emergency supply kit on hand. At the very least your kit should have a flashlight and first aid kit. My kits vary depending on the time of year. I live in a part of the country where tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and (apparently) snow storms are all possible. This means that I need to be prepared for different scenarios.
My kits have a very well stocked first aid kit, a flashlight with batteries, water, and non-perishable food items. Sometimes my kits will also have thinks like blankets, a pocket knife, an extra leash for my dog, and cash. You never know what is going to happen and I like to be prepared.
I like first aid kits that have more than just band aids. Instant ice packs, pain medication, gauze, medical tape, and a CPR mask are all great things to have on hand. I also really like flashlights that are multitaskers. My mom got me this really great one that has so many features. I can crank change it and it will even charge my phone. It will break the windows on my car, cut through my seatbelt, and even has a compass. I hope I never need it, but I will be prepared for the worse if I ever do.
Of course all of these times in my kit are already in my house. I simply get them together and put them in a central location when I know inclement weather is on its way.
Are you ready if severe weather strikes?
In the Car
If I know that I will have to be driving around with severe weather possible I keep a kit in my car. I have my survival sidekick flashlight, a blanket, and some food. I always keep a first aid kit in my glove compartment. My job requires that I go to work even in the worst of weather and situations so I make sure that I am well supplied should I get stranded somewhere.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Very rarely to storms just pop up out of nowhere. Typically they are predicted before they happen. Simply make sure that you stay up to date on the forecast and you shouldn't be taken by surprise.
In addition to your kit what are some items that would be good to have on hand?
- Weather radio
- Can opener
- Cooking set for camping (be careful is using indoors)
- Vaccine records for pets as well as any medications they might need
- Documents stating medical issues or current prescription medications (as well as extra medications)
- A map of the local area
- Emergency contact information for someone close to you
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Depending upon what is headed your way you might need to evacuate. It is best to have a full tank of gas at all times during this time period. That way if you need to leave you can just throw your stuff in your car and go.
For severe storms you will want to be in a central part of your home. If you have a basement you want to be there. If you don't have any interior rooms or a basement, like me, then a bathroom is your go to location. The bathtub is a good place to take shelter during a storm. You might want to bring a blanket to cover your head to keep possible debris off of you.
During a power outage you will want to unplug your electrical devices. The sudden surge of power could be bad for them when the power does come back on.
Depending on the situation you might need to fill your bathtub up with water. That way you will have a safe supply (provided your bath tub is clean...) It may also be possible that the water coming from the plumbing is not safe. In most cases simply boiling the water will make it safe for consumption. Just follow the directions given by local law enforcement.
The most important thing in an emergency situation is to remain calm. Panicking will not make anything better. When the storm is over survey the damage and perform any needed first aid. Get out of the rumble if you need to. Alert emergency service sot your situation. If you can assist your friends and neighbors do so. The most important thing to do is find shelter if yours has been compromised.
If you are lucky enough to not have any damages to your home or any pressing medical needs remain where you are. Traveling will only put unneeded people on the roads and that is not what emergency responders need. If need be report power outages to your power company.
It is easy to be prepared for inclement weather situations. All you need to do is pay attention to what is going on and take action.